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224                         BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
affected many of the spectators, for, as the mourner had not lived on the best terms with his imperial cousin, his griet appeared to be the victory of a man's better nature. But those who knew Andronicus well interpreted his conduct as the performance of a consummate actor, and understood his whispers to mean curses and vows of vengeance upon his dead and helpless relative. Events j ustified this interpretation. For Andronicus ere long usurped the throne, murdered Alexius, insulted his remains, ordered his head to be cut off, and cast the mutilated corpse into the Sea of Marmora to the strains of music.1
During .the Latin occupation the church was appropriated for worship according to the ritual of the Roman Communion, and many of its relics, its vessels of gold and silver, its jewels and vestments, were carried off to enrich S. Mark's at Venice, and other shrines of Western Christendom. How great a value was set upon such trophies, and by what strange methods they were secured, is seen in the account which Guntherus,2 a contemporary historian, gives of the way in which some of the relics of the church were acquired. As soon as the Crusaders captured the city in 1204 and gave it over to pillage, a numerous band of looters made for the Pantokrator in search of spoil, having heard that many valuables had been deposited for safe keeping within the strong walls around the monastery. Among the crowd hastening thither was Martin, abbot of the Cistercian Abbey of Parisis in Alsace, who accompanied the Crusade as chaplain and chronicler. The fever of plunder raging about him was too infectious for the good man to .escape. When everybody else was getting rich he could not consent to remain poor. His only scruple was not to defile his holy hands with the filthy lucre which worldlings coveted. To purloin sacred relics, however, was lawful booty. Entering, therefore, the Pantokrator with his chaplain, Martin accosted a venerable, white-bearded man who seemed familiar with the building, and in stentorian tones demanded where the relics of the church were to be found. The .person addressed was, in fact, a
1 Nicet. Chon. pp. 332-33, 354-55-       2 Riant, Exuviae sacrae, i, pp. 104 $eq.